Three youths remanded over riot at Mahathir forum

The suspects allegedly threw shoes, slippers, water bottles and chairs, and also lit two flares in the public hall.
The suspects allegedly threw shoes, slippers, water bottles and chairs, and also lit two flares in the public hall. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SHAH ALAM • Three Malaysian youths, who were arrested for allegedly causing a riot at a forum that featured former premier Mahathir Mohamad, were yesterday remanded for four days to help in police investigations.

The suspects, aged 17 to 19, had been arrested for allegedly throwing shoes, slippers, water bottles and chairs at the stage where Tun Dr Mahathir, 92, now an opposition leader, was speaking in Selangor on Sunday.

Two flares were also lit up in the public hall.

The trio were nabbed by opposition members and handed to the police, after a brawl following the attack that has raised the political temperature in Malaysia.

Opposition leaders and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi have condemned the aggressive behaviour of the youths.

Some government politicians laid the blame on Dr Mahathir's opposition party for providing poor security coverage. Dr Mahathir was safely whisked out of the hall soon after the attack started.

The suspects were allegedly paid RM50 (S$16) by an unknown person to attend the Nothing to Hide 2.0 forum, according to a police source quoted yesterday by The Malaysian Insight news site.

The trio were told to wear the red T-shirt of Dr Mahathir's party.

Their four-day remand, approved by the Shah Alam court yesterday, will end on Thursday, Bernama reported. Police are going through photos and recordings to identify others who might have been involved in the attack.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Three youths remanded over riot at Mahathir forum'. Print Edition | Subscribe